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In the classic bicycle movie Breaking Away, the hero drafts a tractor trailer rig up to 60mph on a level road. Is that possible in real life? I've gotten to where I can't peddle any faster in top gear and I'd guess I was only going about 25-30 mph.

Opps, wrong forum. Can't delete. Will repost in general forum.
 

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If you can pedal fast enough, it's quite possible. In Belgium, many cyclists do speed work behind a car with the tailgate open, often getting up to over 50mph.

Here is a video of Theo Bos, world class track sprinter, getting up to about 135-140 kph behind a minivan, although admittedly not on a level road: video
 

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semis are the best for drafting because they aren't going to stop very fast. One time I was riding home from the club race in Madison WI, and it was getting dark. The road I was riding on had a 4 way stop, and a semi pulled up to it at the same time I did, so I drafted it. The semi was only on the road to avoid the weigh station, which later led to some difficulties. So I'm riding behind this thing at about 50, when we go down a hill, and I lose the draft. A couple of miles later, I come across this truck pulled over by a cop, and a relatively large crowd gathered around.

Turns out that some farmer had seen me and thought I was a kid holding on for dear life. He didn't see the bike. I told my story and hopefully held off the search party for the non-existent kid.

I also almost got arrested for drafting a cement truck. But that was at 35mph or so. The breaking away scene is total nonsense, but it is kinda fun.
 

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I caught a breadtruck at a left turn last summer. He saw me and motioned for me to follow. He ramped it up slowly and kept it between 40-45mph for the length of the road (@ 3 miles). My max speed was 51 mph.
He turned and I followed. He slowed while I rolled up beside the truck. He said he could see me the whole time in his rearview camera and then called me a crazy MF.

It was cool...

I used to motorpace the 7:15 city bus all the way home in Jacksonville. That was 35-40 for @ 8 miles...

It does happen from time to time...
 

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TomBrooklyn said:
I'd really like to hear this story. What was the potential charge?
The guy was going to charge me because I didn't have my bike registered, but it was just an excuse. At the time, I worked at Trek, and lived about 10 miles away. So in the summer I rode my racing bike in, and I was too snobby to put a registration sticker on it.

What happened was that the cement truck and I both stopped at a 4-way stop sign. We were the only vehicles moving because it was early in the morning. He turned to go the same way I was going, so I got in his draft. A couple of miles later, I was surprised by the cop bumping his siren. He was lecturing me about the safety, etc. I don't know why he just didn't ticket me for tailgating, but when I told him the bike wasn't registered, he told me to get in the car. I said I would be late for work, and he let me go with a warning. I always figured the cement truck driver got the cops to come, I'm almost certain I would have seen the car otherwise.
 

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It is possible to do it because i did it, drafting a van not at 60 mph(96kmh) but close 92 kmh in 53x11. I am used to drafting a motorcycle or a car with the tailgate open as part of my training. Sometimes i catch trucks that pass me at a reasonbale speed just for fun. But it`s dangerous to draft behind a truck because the driver dosen`t know you ar there in most situations. And if he knows he might not like it...
 

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unterhausen said:
The guy was going to charge me because I didn't have my bike registered, but it was just an excuse. At the time, I worked at Trek, and lived about 10 miles away. So in the summer I rode my racing bike in, and I was too snobby to put a registration sticker on it.

What happened was that the cement truck and I both stopped at a 4-way stop sign. We were the only vehicles moving because it was early in the morning. He turned to go the same way I was going, so I got in his draft. A couple of miles later, I was surprised by the cop bumping his siren. He was lecturing me about the safety, etc. I don't know why he just didn't ticket me for tailgating, but when I told him the bike wasn't registered, he told me to get in the car. I said I would be late for work, and he let me go with a warning. I always figured the cement truck driver got the cops to come, I'm almost certain I would have seen the car otherwise.
You were lucky.
I believe tailgating is a reckless driving ticket in some states.....
 

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TomBrooklyn said:
In the classic bicycle movie Breaking Away, the hero drafts a tractor trailer rig up to 60mph on a level road. Is that possible in real life? I've gotten to where I can't peddle any faster in top gear and I'd guess I was only going about 25-30 mph.

Opps, wrong forum. Can't delete. Will repost in general forum.
Its possible due to the fact that the vehicle blocks the wind for you. I'm able to spin up over 60 MPH on my rollars (stationary, no resistance).

Drafting trucks is dangerous and probably illegal in most places, and the drivers hate it too. I drafted an eighteen wheeler once and man did that driver get pissed. Screaming at me, flipping me off, blasting the air horn. If nothing else you make it unsafe by distracting the driver.
 
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